October 12, 2007


Stand up for life in October and beyond

(Listen to this editorial being read)

Sunday, Oct. 7, was a day to stand up for life in Indiana.

It was also a time to respect life throughout the United States as Catholics observed Respect Life Sunday.

Though this event is marked each year in the archdiocese with a special Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis, the day’s pro-life activities only began there (see related story, page 3).

The Mass was followed by participation by people of various Christian traditions at the annual Central Indiana Life Chain along North Meridian Street in Indianapolis. Thousands of others took part in similar Life Chains in cities throughout Indiana and the United States.

In Indianapolis, people wearing Colts jerseys filled car after car going south on Meridian Street, presumably in the direction of the RCA Dome for the NFL team’s late afternoon game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

What a powerful statement for life in the midst of a sporting event where people’s minds aren’t ordinarily turned to such weighty moral issues.

As in years past, it was affirming to see families—many with young children in tow—and teenagers from area schools who felt called to stand up for life on an unseasonably warm fall day. In today’s “me-first” culture, is there a more appropriate way to make a statement about life than with families and young people?

Many pro-life supporters would consider Respect Life Sunday, along with the annual March for Life in January, as two of the more important days on the calendar. Why? Because people of various faith traditions can come together as one family in God to pray for a common cause.

While people of faith gather at the Life Chains committed to promoting life, the event does not come without challenges. Some participants are taunted by people driving by in cars. Others are peppered with profanity as they stand witness to life.

Thankfully, honks of approval and thumbs-up gestures are part of the mix from Life Chain supporters who see the pro-life witness.

As Catholics, we can continue to pray for a conversion of hearts for the uneducated and uninformed, and also pray for those who support abortion and other conditions that undermine the dignity of life.

But our prayers and actions should not end there. We need to let everyone know we will continue to be the conscience of our nation on this issue.

More than 48 million unborn babies have been aborted since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion on demand. Our work to end this injustice must continue.

While October is Respect Life Month, our efforts must not fall on the backburner when these 31 days have come and gone.

We encourage people of faith in central and southern Indiana to take part in the “40 Days for Life” prayer campaign that began on Sept. 26 and continues until Nov. 4.

Be a part of this national ecumenical prayer campaign that combines prayer and fasting in the home with peaceful prayer vigils outside abortion centers as well as at perpetual adoration chapels, churches and in homes.

The archdiocesan pro-life campaign targets the largest Planned Parenthood abortion center in the state, located at 8590 Georgetown Road in Indianapolis, with peaceful prayer vigils there for 40 days. For more information about “40 Days for Life,” call 317-213-4778, log on to www.40DaysforLifeIndy.com or send an e-mail to 40daysforlifeindy@sbcglobal.net.

We must continue to pray every day for the sake of all unborn children. We must continue to be the moral barometer that acknowledges how wrong abortion is in our society.

Our efforts must continue throughout October—and beyond.

— Mike Krokos

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